Losing pregnancy weight while breastfeeding: not a myth

04/10/2008 at 09:47 AM ET

20080407_204_350x263I was bothered by what Salma Hayek said on Oprah about women who lose weight when breastfeeding not eating enough and that weight loss while breastfeeding is a lie. I know from my personal experience that it isn’t a lie – I ate well, didn’t intentionally exercise (I took a lot of stroller walks), and still lost all of my pregnancy weight and then some. Many friends, relatives and others have shared similar stories to me. I do know, however, that many women do not lose weight at all while breastfeeding or not until their child weans. So I asked an expert, lactation consultant Catherine Genna, BS, IBCLC, about the weight loss. Here’s what she said:

People with gestational diabetes [like Salma] have a 33% chance of getting type 2diabetes in their lifetime, so their carbohydrate metabolism is alreadyproblematic. Type 2 diabetes rates are strongly linked to obesity,though genetics play a role as well. Breastfeeding protects women fromtype 2 diabetes, even 10 years after their baby weans. So there is a lotgoing on that we don’t fully understand.

Women are primed to put on fat during pregnancy to support lactation.Lactation is a fairly energy efficient process. The body changes the wayit does things (absorbs more nutrients from food, reabsorbs more calciumfrom the kidneys) to be more efficient while breastfeeding. The "old"studies that CALCULATED that women needed 500 extra calories a dayduring breastfeeding are likely responsible for some of the "not losingweight" during breastfeeding. We make up for the extra calories with ourfat stores and by reduced activity while we sit and breastfeed ourbabies. Studies that actually measured weight loss (rather thancalculating by some proxy measure) showed that breastfeeding women onaverage lose more weight than women who don’t breastfeed.

The big problem is that our bodies are designed for hunter-gathering,and we now have access to tons of food without having to walk or dig orhunt to get it. Being reasonably active after birth and eating a widevariety of foods with as little processing as possible (apples ratherthan apple pie or apple granola bars) will result in a healthier body.

Unfortunately in the US the cheapest foods are the most processed; themost fat, sugar and salt laden; and the least nutrient dense. This meansthat many people in poverty are undernourished even while they areobese. TV or video/computer games are the safest thing your kids can doin an urban neighborhood. They are inside, away from the dangers of thestreet. This promotes obesity too. Many of us were not breastfedourselves, which also affects our number of fat cells and ourmetabolism. Our social activities mostly involve eating, and sittingstill. We have a lot of Standard American Diet (SAD) to overcome beforewe can see how our bodies are supposed to be. 

If you breastfed, what was your experience losing weight? Did you lose weight or hang onto it until you stopped? If you had gestational diabetes and breastfed, what was your postpartum weight loss experience? If you formula fed one child and breastfed another, what kind of difference did you notice in terms of weight loss?

Note: Please keep comments limited to the questions asked about nursing and weight loss, not about breast vs. formula in general. If you’d like to discuss Salma’s interview, please head to the original post.

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Kat on

I have 3 children and all have been breast fed. #1 was supplemented from the very beginning and stopped nursing at 4 months. It was easiest to loose weight with her. #2 I EBF for 7 months and I gained 10lbs and watched what I ate the whole time. I got pregnant with #3 a few months after I stopped BF’ing and I now I have been EBF’ing #3 for 5 months and I lost all pregnancy weight and the weight I gained after #2 within 1 week of birth. Now I cant loose weight if my life depended on it…and I have a good amount to loose. I watch what I eat and go to the gym 5 days a week. Ive come to the conclusion that I loose weight more easily once I stop nursing.

Callie on

I have nursed both my kids, the first for 16 months and the second for 2 full years. I do know for a fact that you can lose weight breast feeding. I did with my first, but my second, I had a VORACIOUS appetite and actually gained weight (my fault). The last 5 months of BF’ing my second child I focused more on just eating for me and not for her since at that point it was more for comfort and immunity than nutrition for her. Suddenly I started dropping weight! I lost almost 20 lbs in those last few short months.
For all the new moms out there that have started breast feeding and are discouraged or having a hard time, find a good supportive lactation consultant and DONT GIVE UP! It WILL get easier. I had such a hard time the first 3-4 months with my first child. Its SO worth it though. My kids are very rarely sick and neither have been on antibiotic more than a half dozen times in either of their lives.
Good luck!

Callie

PS, sorry about the long post, just had to give an uplifting word to struggling moms!

Sally on

I think breastfeeding had to be the secret to weight loss for me. I had to eat and drink more calories than I would have pre-pregnancy just to keep my supply up. I know I would have put on weight not pregnant with all the juice, milk and extra snacks I consumed, but instead I lost weight. I know what it takes for my body to loose weight, and juice, carbs and snacking aren’t it.

Keri on

I breastfed all 3 of my children. It did not accelerate my weight loss. I didn’t lose all of the baby weight until I quit breastfeeding. It was like the month that I weaned my baby, the weight just fell off. I think I was holding on to that extra weight to produce breast milk.

Allison on

I got the impression that she was talking about the celebs who lose weight superfast, like in a month or two, and then say it’s because they breastfed. I definitely see a trend towards celebrities seeming to bounce back within four weeks of giving birth and it’s very depressing to me! I mean, is that really the only reason they lost weight so fast?

Ashley on

I breastfeed my 3 kids and for me right after birth I lose the inital weight..But, I guess my body stores on like 10 pound during breastfeeding, because no matter what I do during breastfeeding I CAN NOT lose the weight! But, once I wean I lose A LOT of weight! So for me I don’t lose the weight till after I stop breastfeeding.

Brittany on

I don’t understand what the big deal is about what Salma said. When people tend to speak they do so in absolutes. I don’t think she meant that everyone who says they lost weight while breastfeeding is a liar. I think she just meant that it didn’t work for her when everyone told her it would. I also tend to agree that celebrity moms who do lose a lot of weight instantly after pregnancy are probably doing more than just breast feeding to lose the weight. There’s probably a lot of exercise and dieting going on as well.

tan on

I am pregnant with baby #3.I didn’t breastfeed till #2.It was the best experience but I didn’t loose until I weened my son off.I really hope that things will be different the 3rd time around.Everyone is different it works for some and some it doesn’t.

Veronica on

With my first pregnancy I gained 30 pounds and was able to lose 25 of it right away while breastfeeding. After I stopped, I gained a little bit back. My second pregnancy I also gained 30 pounds and lost 20 of it within the first 3 months. I breastfed my second son for 10 months but was unable to lose all of the weight even though I stay very active (my boys are only 18 months apart). I don’t dispell the losing weight by breastfeeding myth, but I just think everybody’s body reacts differently to the massive changes that have just occurred. I will also say that my eating habits are horrible!!! I definitely felt more hungry while breastfeeding and that did subside after I finished, so I had to adjust accordingly. With all of that being said, I am still 10 pounds over what I would like to be, but if I never lose that weight it’s okay because I have two beautiful healthy boys that will give me way more happiness than any number on a scale ever will!!

Rhonda on

With my first child, I breastfed for 3 months, drank a lot of water and ate iron rich food because I was slightly anemic,walked once in awhile, and lost almost 30 lbs. Once I stopped breastfeeding, the weight loss almost immediately stopped, and it took a tremendous amount more effort for me to work out/diet to lose just 5 more pounds. I am now pregnant with my second and plan on breastfeeding for longer, and see if this will help with my weight loss.

Stephanie on

I was also offended by her interview, not just by the breastfeeding comments but also by her statements about how sorry she feels for young mother, she used the age 23 which i am. Because they will never get to experience life and they are missing out. She stated that her age is much better to become a mother at, well i am 23, i chose to become a mother. I am perfectly happy with my decision, i am not missing out and when my kids are grown i will still be young enough to enjoy my life with my husband and grandchildren.

Becky's Daughter on

I also didn’t drop all of the weight until I stopped nursing. I gained 32 lbs during my pregnancy and slowly lost 22 of it in the first six months postpartum.

After those first 6 months, my body held on to that last 10. After I stopped nursing, I began a serious workout routine and lost the rest.

Having had been a thin person all of my life, who ate fairly healthy, I couldn’t understand it. I waited for all of the weight to just fall off like the books said and for me it didn’t, until I got active. This was new for me because to lose weight before baby, I only needed to cut calories for a few weeks.

I truly think that my body needed the extra fat to sustain me during breastfeeding. I nursed for 15 months.

kendrajoi on

I think that maybe she shouldn’t have said it was a “lie”. You’re being really hard on her. It just wasn’t true for her. Like EVERYTHING, everyone is different. NOT ALL WOMEN lose weight while BF. I did, but not to nearly the extent that some people say. And no, I did not have Gestational Diabetes, either. JMHO.

meghan on

i lost a ton of weight. i gained 30 lbs during my pregnancy and lost it all in 2 weeks.

however, i’m not completely convinced that it was only the breastfeeding. i wasn’t eating alot while recovering from my c-section, but the breastfeeding could have contributed.

sadly, when i did start eating, i had a horrible sweet tooth (probably a result of having horrible morning sickness throughout my entire pregnancy and not being able to eat anything) and ate mint choc chip ice cream for weeks. i put the weight right back on.

now, almost 2 years later, i’m still struggling to get it off.

stacy on

I breast fed all three of my girls, on average about 5 months. I did lose weight quickly, but more with the first one which I gained 40 lbs with and was border line gestational diabetes. I was on the diet before giving birth. I lost more than I gained with in a few months.
It did take a little longer to lose it with my last two, all were 4 and under though. THat doesn’t help either. Still fighting to lose the last 5. I also don’t really watch what I eat. I think everyone is different for sure.

Maria on

My son is 15 (almost 16) months old and still nursing. I have lost all of my pregnancy weight (around 45 pounds) plus 10-15 additional pounds. At first it did not come off quickly, but around month 3 I was in my regular “fat day” jeans (ha ha). By 1 year, I was about 8-10 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. I went in to the post-partum period worried that I wasn’t losing quickly enough, but my midwife assured me I was doing well. I decided to take the 10 months to gain, 10 months to lose mentality, which really helped me keep things in perspective.

At this point, I am working really hard to eat enough. I do not want to lose any more weight. I attribute my weight loss to a combination of things. I eat like a pig these days, but I have changed my diet since my son has started eating solids. I eat even healthier than before (I’ve always been careful about my died)– mostly raw, organic fruits and veggies, lean meats, etc. I walk as much as possible– stairs at work, etc. Breastfeeding (of course). I do have “treats,” but not regularly.

My coworker just had a baby about 3 months ago. She is almost to her pre-pregnancy weight. She swims a lot, eats healthy and nurses.

IMO– part of the problem is that “we” lose sight of what one portion is. Dining out is a big impediment to eating proper portions and foods.

EJ on

I actually appreciated Salma’s comments. I think there are far too many celeb moms out there who lose their baby weight incredibly fast and when asked say, “I didn’t do anything but breastfeed” when in fact they’ve virtually starved themselves or had some form of “help”. I think it’s unfortunate for those “average” first-time moms who believe this to be fact and then can’t understand why they aren’t losing weight in the same way.

brooke on

I gained 25 pounds during pregnancy and have exclusively breast fed for 5.5 months. I am now exactly at my pre-preg weight. It was very slow and steady. I was able to (and still do) eat whatever I want, though I try to get in lots of fruits and veggies because I want baby to have good nutrition. My theory is that if your weight gain is within the recommended range (25-35 lb), you can lose the weight through breastfeeding unless you go totally nuts on eating lots of junk. However, if you gained 50lb+, you won’t be able to lose that amount through breastfeeding alone and you will need to focus your diet at some point. I personally love breastfeeding and would do it anyway, but being able to eat that extra cookie is a great side benefit!!

Twyla on

THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting about her comments! I did watch the show and I was a bit disappointed by her comments. I am a huge fan of BFing and can tell you that I take great pride in telling other new mom’s the struggles, as well as the benefits that BFing has had on my body. I lost 20lbs. below my pre-prego weight, due to BFing my son. I do agree that you tend to be preoccupied with being a new mom and eating takes a back seat. It took me awhile to find a healthy balance between the two. I did not BF because I thought I would lose weight, I BF because of the benefits to my child, another misconception I think women shouldn’t do. It’s not a weight loss tool, it’s part of giving your child what YOU feel is the best. Everyone has different views of course, but supporting other new mom’s in whatever choices they make is an important practice.

Amy on

I gained 33 pounds when I was pregnant with my son. I exclusively breastfed him for 12 months and I lost all the weight expect for 5 pounds. Once I quit nursing the 5 pounds plus 5 more came off. Your body must hold onto those for nursing purposes. I wish I could understand how people lose the weight in weeks…not months? I guess I love food too much🙂

Michelle on

I gained 35 lbs during my pregnancy and lost it all plus 10 additional pounds during the first 6 months of nursing. I ate whatever I wanted (within reason!)and did not really exercise. I nursed for 16 months altogether and did not continue to lose weight after month 6. After I weened I gained 1 lb. back. I think a lot of it is genetic predisposition but I do believe nursing is what helped me lose all that weight so fast.

laura on

i breastfed four out of my five children for at least more than a year each and i can attest that for me, i did lose all the baby weight and got my shape back fairly quickly. of course it didn’t happen overnight just like putting on that weight didn’t happen overnight. it took some time but honestly, during those few months i was busy with babies and children.
i am anticipating the birth of my 1st grandchild soon (very surreal considering i am still working on potty training with my youngest) and i am thrilled that my daughter is intending to breastfeed too. she was a size 0 before getting pg and is definitely not a size 0 now. she is hoping to get back in to those itty-bitty jeans again but is also worried just a little. i try to remind her how long it took to put on her baby weight and that some of it is there for after the baby comes so that she can feed her baby.
if a mom is choosing to breastfeed and is feeling discouraged because the weight seems to come off too slowly i would encourage them with the fact that it took 9 months or so to put it on so it would follow that it will take a little bit of time to take it off as well. this time in the lives of our babies is much too short so perhaps we should just relax a little and enjoy the baby bliss while we nurse our babies.

Laura on

Thanks for posting this.

I adore Salma Hayek and respect her perspective and experience, but I also was bothered by what she said.

I breastfed, drank water constantly, and walked my baby every day, so I think that is why I lost all of my baby weight and then some. And in my experience, after I stopped breastfeeding I actually gained a few pounds back!🙂

Sanja on

It seems to me that the only person who could say if breastfeeding was responsible for the weight loss would be someone who has breastfed with one child and didn’t with the other and can compare the two. Otherwise you never know is it’s just someone’s metabolism/way of life or if it really was b-feeding, they might have lost the weight either way (as some women I know who didn’t b-feed).

Mandy on

I BF my first and lost all the weight I gained and then some within 2 months. Due to some complications during labor with my second, my milk tried up right after it came in. Even though I had gained less weight during the second pregnancy, it took me almost 6 months to get it all off. I am a big believer that BF can really help the weight loss process along!

Abby on

I think what she meant is that with the celebs who drop 100% of their pregnancy weight and more within the first twelve weeks that it’s usually a lie when they attribute their weightloss to breastfeeding. It annoys me when they say that, too, because you know they have a personal trainer whipping their butts for hours every day and are probably on strict, dietician-crafted diets, and it makes people who don’t have all that and are breastfeeding and also trying the best they can to control their diets and exercise when they can but still have a bunch of extra weight three months later feel really bad.

I breastfed my first son for thirteen months. I had forty pounds I wanted to drop after I had him, and it came off really slowly, even with diet and exercise. I got thirty pounds of it off after nine months and never got the rest off😦. This time I’m three months post partum and I’ve only lost fifteen pounds since my post-partum visit, and that’s with intense exercise and breastfeeding. I still have twenty pounds to go! I’m really disappointed with it, and sick of hearing about how breastfeeding is such a great diet! Ranks right up there with the celebrity-standard line about how every moment with a new baby is perfect, and how they can’t wait to wake up in the middle of the night because they miss their babies while they sleep!

Linda on

with all 3 of my kids, i was at or below my prepregnancy weight by my 6 week doctor’s appointemnts. all three were breastfed so i have no experience as to what it would be like to formula feed instead. i always figured the breastfeeding knocked the weight off.

Alexandra on

I agree with the statements made in the last 2 paragraphs of the lactation consultant’s response. But I do not think they are appropriate for this discussion. Their presence suggests that women who do not lose weight while breastfeeding are not active enough or not eating a proper diet. While not as blunt, it is essentially the reverse of Salma’s statement that losing weight from breastfeeding is a myth.

As someone who did not lose all of the weight despite being very physically fit throughout pregnancy, gaining only 25 pounds, adhering to a healthy diet, exercising vigorously (I ran a marathon), and breastfeding for 23 months, I am just as bothered by the insinuation that I did something wrong as those of you who lost weight from breastfeeding are when people like Salma suggest that you are starving yourself.

I was thoroughly looking forward to the lactation consultant’s response only to find that it is not as balanced as I had hoped it would be.

Also, while I know how easily our feelings are hurt when it comes to our post-baby bodies, I would hope that those of you who lost weight from breastfeeding would remember that the rest of us are JEALOUS. To the extent that comments like Salma’s bother you, please remember that you are the lucky ones. There are many women out there – like myself – who know that it is not a myth and are just disappointed that despite all of our hard work, it did not come true for us.

MulberryLane on

I am currently BFing my 4 1/2 month old after having gestational diabetes with him. I initially lost 15 lbs. after being diagnosed with GD and was able to control it due to diet. I gained about 5 lbs the first 6 weeks of nursing because I ate carbs and ice cream, both of which I didn’t eat while pg. Now I am more careful about my carb and ice cream intake and make sure to eat more proteins, whole grains, and veggies. My weight has stayed the same for the past 2 1/2 months. Now that my 4 1/2 month old is getting bigger, I’m getting hungrier and making sure to eat better for the both of us. My 2 y.o. was given EBF for 4 months and FF til 1 y.o. I lost 15 lbs within the first 3 months of his birth but did not lose the remaining 20 lbs I gained until after I started a diet program after his 1st birthday.

I believe our individual metabolisms play a larger than perceived role in our abilities to lose weight after bfing. I survived anorexia in my early 20’s and that damage has had long-term effects that I am just now understanding (I’m 35).

Heather on

I had a difficult time gaining weight, particularly in my first pregnancy. So after the initial huge weightloss, of the baby, fluids, placenta, etc. I put on a little weight. i was absolutely voracious…your body needs those extra stores. However, after that initial weight gain, with nothing but nursing and stroller walks, I lost all but a few pounds within a couple of months. I nursed until he was 2, and it was when he was about 18 months old, when he was nursing only 2 times a day, that I finally lost the rest. This time, I am still nursing a 20 month old, and I have , again, gotten rid of that last few pounds. Our bodies want those stores…they know we are exhausted already…we need a little extra to keep us going :o)

Leah on

I don’t think it’s a clear cut yes or no. Like so many other things, it’s different for each person. I’ve heard wonderful stories about breastfeeding helping to lose weight. That’s great for them, but it definitely didn’t help me. Not at all. I breastfed my twins for 2 full years and didn’t lose a darn pound. But I wouldn’t go as far as saying it doesn’t work at all. We’re all different, our bodies are different.

natalie on

while breastfeeding the weight just fell off. I didn’t work at it at all and by 6 weeks I had lost all of the baby weight + some. I attribute it ALL to breastfeeding!

Nicole on

It definitely helped me lose the baby weight… I breastfed my son for the first 6 weeks, and at my 6 week post-partum check up, I had lost all 30 lbs of my baby weight, PLUS 8 lbs, putting me UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight. I truly believe bf’ing helps!

amy on

I think this issue is the same as every other pregnancy and/or childbirth issue. Everyone is going to have their own experience and to try to make a blanket statement about any aspect of pregnancy/childbirth/mamahood based on your own experience is a mistake.

katie allison granju on

I bottle-fed my first baby. I breastfed my second for 4 years, and my third for three years. I am currently nursing baby #4, who is 8 months old.

I am perhaps the biggest breastfeeding supporter on the planet😉, but I have to say that my anecdotal, personal experience was that no weight loss came from breastfeeding. None.

I have to work at it every time, and as I get older, it gets harder. With baby #1, it fell right off.

There are many women who have different experiences, though, and of course, there are still SO many good reasons to give your baby & yourself the gift of breastfeeding.

-Katie Allison Granju
Knoxville, TN

jill on

I personally could not lose the “last 5-10 lbs” while breastfeeding and I was not gestational diabetic- only gained @ 20 lbs with each pregnancy. For me, my body wanted to hold on to that weight for some reason. Perhaps I am the minority b/c I worked out EVERYDAY during the preg and started back when my kids were 2-3 days old so my body wanted to keep some weight cuz it thougth is was in “lose mode” from teh working out? I agree with Salma to an extent.. I also think, if you don’t normally workout like a fiend that maybe breastfeeding would be that calorie burner…

Christie on

I think it’s a shame that the support that women have for each other when pregnant doesn’t extend to post-pregnancy. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that every pregnancy is different. Weight gain, morning sickness, belly shape, complications, etc… Those differences extend to the recovery period as well. It’s called hormones and metabolism. It’s different for everyone whether you are breastfeeding or not. For those women lucky enough to loose the weight quickly, good for you. I wish I was that fortunate. For the rest of us, love your body as much as you love that new baby, the rest will fall into place when you are ready.

katie on

is the lactation consutant implying that when breastfeeding you do not need to consume any extra calories? I’m confused.

Alexandra on

I am with you, Jill! We are probably in the minority! When my daughter was 18 months old and my friend’s daughter was 6 weeks old, we were talking about post-pregnancy weight loss. She regained her sleek size-4 body instantly whereas I had only recently slid sluggishly back into my size-4 jeans. When I commented on how I was amazed at how difficult it had been for me to lose weight, her husband said – not intending to hurt my feelings – “Well, did you exercise?” I had just finished an 8-mile run (as part of my 5 day weekly running schedule) before meeting them for dinner. Oh well. I still hope the weight will just fall off next time!

Julia on

Thank you, Alexandra! You speak from my heart!!

Jennifer on

CBB, I’m a little offended to be honest on how much weight and bias you put out there about breastfeeding. I do NOT disagree with you that it is the BEST nutritional source for babies. But, on the other hand, your site has almost made me feel guilty that I was not able to BF. I wasn’t able to BF not because I couldn’t latch, or gave up, but because for medical reasons I had a breast reduction at the age of 18. It was a very hard decision to make and especially at such a young age. When my daughter was born, I had to put her on formula and had no other choice.

When I read your posts and comments, it make me feel that I didn’t provide efficiently for my daughter. Dont get me wrong, I understand your opinion, I also understand all the reasons why BF is best, but I think you should take into consideration when posting such bias comments; us Mommies who couldn’t BF for other reason than lack of trying. When you have no other choice formula is the second best opinion.

The reason for this comment became an idea when JLo came forward to announce that she is not BF either.

MomtoB on

Thanks for the info Danielle.

I had a few friends who encouraged me while I was pregnant to not worry about the weight gain (I gained 30 lbs) because I would need it for breastfeeding. I am so glad they did because they were right, as some mentioned above I was constantly being advised to eat, drink and rest- which believe me I did and I just kept losing weight. Even 6 months after stopping, I do not fit into any pre-pregnancy pants because they are way too big! It has been insane! I don’t know if it will be the same with a second child.

I now encourage friends the same way! (This is of course talking about 30ish pounds. Obviously we know it is not healthy either to gain too much weight.)

Ang on

Nursed my 1st son until he was 4 months old, but I also supplemented his diet with formula. I really didn’t get back to my “natural” weight until he was after a year old; it was strange – I did nothing different, it was almost like my body just eventually went back to it’s pre-baby weight. Odd. I now have an 8-month-old who is pretty much solely nursing. I still have weight to lose – but I’m hoping that after the “year” mark, maybe my body will do like it did with the first one….???

Amanda on

I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy..most of it in the last months. I think I gained over 50 lbs. Within the first month of breastfeeding, I had taken off at least 30 of those lbs. Then I just stopped. Not that I was doing anything to lose weight. But no, it didn’t just melt away for me. I ebf her for 5 months. She is now 22 months and still nursing. I’ve actually gained a little weight since I lost those 30 lbs. But am now finally motivated to eat better and maybe even exercise. I’ll be very curious to see what happens when she weans…

Katie on

I gained 50 pounds when pregnant with my first child, and lost 60 pounds by the time she was three months old – and a lot of it had to do with breastfeeding since I didn’t really work out or watch what I ate.
My second pregnancy I again gained 50 pounds, and lost about 30 and then came to a halt. I am still breastfeeding my 17 month old, and I am having a hard time losing the last 20 pounds. I guess it is not only different with each person, but with each pregnancy.
Kudos to any celebrity who talks about breast feeding – it is nice to have such a normal and wonderful process for a mother and baby be talked about again.

Amie on

I breastfeed my oldest until she self-weaned at 2.5 and my youngest is still nursing at 21 months. Considering that I gained close to 70 pounds with my daughter and 54 pounds with my son, and I am currently hanging onto just 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight while nursing, and without me changing my diet at all, I’d attribute the bulk of the weight loss to nursing and some minimal yoga (maybe 15-20 minutes a day) and I expect I’ll lose that last 10 pounds once my son is ready to wean my my body doesn’t need the extra fat storage or giant boobs.

m on

My sister breastfed all three of her children and agrees that it doesn’t help with weight loss. Her doctor also said it was a myth.

(As a side note, I couldn’t breastfeed due to a rare pregnancy complication that takes months to recover from once you give birth. My ob/gyn suggested that I don’t breastfeed and focus on recovering and enjoying motherhood. In my situation, he was 100% correct.)

One’s choice to breastfeed should not be made because you can lose weight. It seems a bit shallow as a deciding factor.

Lynnf on

I gained 29 lbs while pregnant. Six days after my son was born, I had lost 16 lbs. It took 2 more weeks and I lost 4 more lbs. I fit into my prepregnancy clothes 3 weeks after he was born. Sometime between then & now (he is 4 months old) I lost the remaining 9 lbs. I credit it to breastfeeding – we are still going strong. I plan to breastfeed for at least a year. I did no exercise of any kind and still do not. I did not find myself hungrier but my thirst was unquenchable!

Mel on

Thank you for your posting this. I have always liked Salma Hayek as an actress, but what she said bothered me as well. The possibility of someone hearing that (particularly on such a widely-seen TV show) and being less apt to choose to breastfeed is quite disturbing to me. It would be much more responsible to have said that *in her case*, it has not worked.

I haven’t had time to read through all the comments, so if this is totally redundant, I apologize!

Michelle on

My personal experience was that with both pregnancies, I lost all my pregnancy weight and then some (just a little), mainly by breastfeeding. I did mild exercise–walks with the stroller and light weights–but I don’t attribute much of the weight loss to that, because it wasn’t always very regular. And–I pretty much ate whatever and whenever I wanted. I actually got a little spoiled because I gained a little back after I weaned the second one! (I was pregnant with the second when the first was weaned.) I breastfed them both exclusively for about the first 5 months, and then added solid foods–no formula whatsoever–so I don’t know if that made any difference. I breastfed the first for 16 months and the second for 12.

m on

One last comment. I would like to also add that it isn’t really healthy to gain a ton of weight while pregnant, only the rec. amount. And for those of us who could not/can not breast feed, you can lose weight too. I lost all of my pregnancy weight in four months, without really trying. By 9 months after giving birth, I was 15 pounds lighter than before I got pregnant. So if you decide/are told not to breast feed, you aren’t doomed to keeping the weight on or having a difficult time losing it.

Julie on

I didn’t lose all of my baby weight right away, but after a few months of breast feeding (and I breastfed for 13 months total), I was below my starting weight and my pre-pregnancy clothes were too big. And I ate A LOT.

Starlet on

In my mom’s club ALL the women who breastfed had an easier time loosing weight healthily. The only couple of bottle feeders who lost weight quick were those that went straight from the hospital onto questionably unhealthy diets – like one who only ate 1 meal a day!
There is so much evidence that it contracts the uterus, helps get the body back to pre birth state.
What I don’t like is when celebrities take their 1 experience and relate is as fact, it’s very very misleading. I think it should have been said in a different way or edited!

Abby on

I am a mother of two with #3 on the way. With #1 I gained over 45lbs, and I BFed for one year. Some of the weight came off, but it wasn’t until he was weaned and I went to the gym everyday that the weight really fell off. With #2 I gained less and exercised more during pregnancy but only BFed for about 6 months. The weight came off easier, but those last 10lbs seemed to really stick around a while. With #3 I’m determined to BF longer, eat better postpartum, and get in a bit more exercise.

I think it really depends on genetics and portion control though. what works for some doesn’t always work for others. To say it BF always makes the weight come off or that it’s “a lie” does everyone a disservice. We’re all different and our bodies are all going to tackle this issue differently.

yaosa on

In my case I lost half of my pregnancy weight during the first 6 weeks while breast feeding my first child and as soon as I stopped breast feeding at 14 months I put some of it back on. I think this is because my hormones were still out of whack after nursing. I ate correctly, continued to take supplements and living in NYC I walked a lot and carried a stroller up and down subway stairwells. I was very fit and lean but the number on the scale was not what it had been before. With my second one I couldn’t drop a pound while breast feeding her (by this time we moved to southern California, so no more walking or carrying strollers)until I weaned her at 13 months. It took me a year or so to get my body back to its pre pregnancy shape and like Alexandra, I was and am a physically fit person and exercised every day, ran a few 5K’s and a half marathon and eat all organic and very well. Like a few other posters, I believe that my body needed the extra weight to produce the milk in the first place. In the end I think it had more to do with other factors and not breast feeding at all. Breast feeding didn’t affect my overall post pregnancy weight loss.

What I don’t like so much is the suggestion that breast feeding can be that silver bullet for pregnancy weight loss and it simply is not for everyone. It doesn’t work that way for everyone. Breast feeding should not be put out there to entice women because it encourages weight loss. I didn’t see Selma on Oprah but I would agree with her if she was attempting to dispel the myth that it is the silver bullet. It is a fact that it can burn up to 500 calories but I think that it depends on what state a woman’s body is in to start with hormonally which will affect metabolism. Like many others have said, we are all different and should be able to appreciate our differences and different experiences. For me, the health benefits for my children and for my ‘breast’ health outweighed any notions associated with potential weight loss and honestly my choice to feed had more to do with the convenience of the breast over the bottle than anything else.

On another note: I’ve met many women who suffer from thyroid conditions after having a child and many are on medication to keep their weight under control.

Does anyone have any ideas about why so many women develop thyroid conditions after pregnancies ?

crunchy domestic goddess on

thank you so much, danielle, for chiming in on this and asking an LC for her opinion. i’m sure this is one of those things that varies so much from woman to woman.

i lost a LOT of weight while nursing my daughter. i ate healthy and didn’t do any extra exercising and, over the course of several months, the pounds fell off, so much so that i was concerned because i ended up 20 lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight. i went to the dr to get checked out and everything was fine.

with my son, the weight came off easily too, though not as much as with my daughter. i feel i’m at a good weight for me now though.

thank you again.🙂

amy

JuliaS on

I am not diabetic – never developed it during my pregnancies either. The most I ever gained during a pg was 40 lbs, the least amount was 13 lbs – the others were all around the 25-30 mark, very average and right on according to my ob. I delivered 6 babies and breastfed every one. Nursed from up to 6 months to up to 18 months, average length of time being about 13 months. I did not lose weight at all until I stopped nursing. Given I had csections with all of them – exercise at first was prohibited. Once I was cleared I walked a lot, baby in stroller and also wore my babies around the house in a sling. I get back to pre-pg weight by a year out – pre-pg size is another matter entirely – I’m still working on that one after my last baby and he is 14 months old (He is also the one I only gained 13 lbs with) Which, sad to say – I haven’t lost the 13 lbs I gained with him yet either. I weaned him at 11 months because I had to start taking medication that was bad for breastmilk fed babies. I needed it earlier than that – but I put it off as long as I could so I could breastfeed him as he is my last child.

It’s very frustrating for me – because I do eat a good variety and healthy foods and while I could exercise more, with six kids I’m too exhausted to do much more than take walks on a regular basis. But, I would’ve breastfed all my babies anyway – I enjoyed having that moment to sit and just hold my babies.

MamaC on

I am so jealous of those of you who lost weight while breastfeeding. I guess I am in the minority who gained weight while breastfeeding. With both of my pregnancies, I only gained (despite eating TONS of food) about 5-10 pounds. Then during their first year while breastfeeding exclusively, I gained about 30 pounds. I remember being so frustrated because EVERYONE kept telling me that I would lose weight while breastfeeding and I kept getting bigger and bigger. Not only that, but I had to radically modifiy my diet while breastfeeding (no dairy, no nuts, etc.) and ate 1800-2000 calories a day and still gained weight. So I did feel like it was a myth, but I keep reading and hearing about women losing weight with breastfeeding, so it must just be an unfortunate small number of us who suffer with the weight gain. I’m still trying to get that extra weight off….grrr…it’s all on my belly so I still get asked when I’m due. I always wonder how to respond to that one–should I say, “ummm, I was due 13 months ago!”🙂

Amanda on

I am really glad CBB posted this, I too was very bothered by Salma’s comments. I find that it is just as hard to be a mom who loses weight quickly as it is to be a mom who loses the weight slowly sometimes. I got all sorts of comments about not eating enough from people in real life, don’t need a celebrity encouraging those views! My prepregnancy weight was 115lbs and I eat more than my 190lb husband, I eat several times a day, 3 healthy meals and various snacks throughout the day. In those early months of breastfeeding it felt like I was either eating/drinking or breastfeeding at all times I was SO hungry! Still I was back at my prepregnancy weight and size by 4 weeks post partum…and then I went on at 6 months post partum down to 96lbs! I had to go to the doctor who suggested I stop breastfeeding, instead I loaded up on the calories in every way possible and did gain it back. Almost the same thing happened the second time around and ‘not eating enough’ was as far as you could possibly be from the truth.

Loretta on

Breastfeeding seemed to help in my weight loss after my first was born, although it was VERY slow for the first 7 months or so. That may have been because I was working a more sedentary job then. Then from 7-12 months, I lost a lot more weight and was down to my pre-pregnancy weight when I got pregnant again a couple of days after my son turned one. I suspect I would have continued to lose weight if I hadn’t gotten pregnant. With number two, I lost a lot of weight quickly and at 12 weeks postpartum am about 5 pounds heavier than I was when I found out I was pregnant with her. I suspect I’ll lose the rest of my pregnancy weight before she’s five months old. I’m sure that the quick bounceback from this second pregnancy is due to the fact that I gained about 10 pounds less than the first time around, the fact that I’m tandem nursing (I nursed my son throughout the pregnancy and am still nursing him a few short nursing sessions a day), and the fact that I’m simply much more active than I was in this timeperiod the first time around.

Heather on

I had gestational diabetes and only lost two pounds when I was breast feeding. I ate very well and exercised because I was determined to lose weight. I lost all my weight after I stopped breast feeding. It’s different for everyone, what is a fact for you is not so for me. I know lots of people who lost tons of weight breast feeding! Just not me.

Chalsey on

I breastfed my son for a little over a year. And I was one of the ‘unlucky’ ones that didn’t lost all my pregnancy weight until after I was done breastfeeding. I don’t eat processed foods and I exercised 4 days a weeks. I didn’t gain any weight, but I was unable to lose it.

I am now pregnant again, I am hoping that this time I do lose the weight while breastfeeding! I hope by body reacts differently, but we will see!

I am very happy this info was put up. Not every woman’s body does the same thing. And I know a number of women who ate very healthy and lost tons of weight breastfeeding! I was totally jealous!!

Brooke on

I usually struggle to lose weight in general, so I was very surprised (and thrilled) that losing the baby weight while nursing came so easily.

I gained 39lbs with my son, and had lost 30 by 8 days PP (the first time I weighed myself). I was exclusively nursing him and the rest came off right before he was 3mths. After that, I didn’t lose any extra, but I wasn’t exactly watching what I was eating, either.

We’re now expecting #2 and I don’t plan to gain as much as I did with my son, but regardless, I am interested to see if the weight falls off as easily this time.

Colleen on

My first I bottle fed and lost my weight but not quickly. My 2nd baby I nursed exclusively for 10 months and w/in 4 months I had lost all my baby weight plus more. And I ate all the time! I was always hungry. But by 4 months I had to start watching what I ate because I started to gain some of the weight back. The 3rd I breast fed exclusively for 10 months and while I did lose the weight quickly, it was not as much weight as my 2nd. My 2nd baby was just a big eater and a big boy and sucked all the weight out of me!

Lindsay on

The lactation consultation said one important thing in her response “…there is a lot going on that we don’t fully understand.” She should have also said every pregnancy and woman is different. Just because something works for many does not mean it works for all. It is just like women who can eat whatever they want and not gain any weight compared to the women who will have half a sandwich and gain 5 pounds. What I don’t like is when celebrities and other moms make it seem as if there is something wrong with women who did not lose the weight through breastfeeding.

Brianne on

my daughter will be 3 months old on monday 4/14. I gained 55 pounds while pregnant and have lost all but about 8 of it… i bf exclusively and watched my diet the first 6 weeks while i was home and could eat healthier. by the time I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old I had lost 37 pounds of the weight… about 29 or so in the first month. I am all for it if you are able to and it suits you but some people jsut prefer not to. i plan to BF the rest of my children as tey come because of how fast it helped me and how much healthier my daughter is because of it!

Joy on

I had a very healthy pregnancy: exercised daily, excellent vegan diet, gained 35 pounds. All my friends had lost massive amounts of weight while BF, and I was really looking forward to that!

I lost about 15 pounds immediately with the birth of my 9 lb. daughter, and then…nothing. I didn’t lose a thing for several months post-baby, and that was with very regular exercise, BFing, and a healthy diet.

Now my daughter is 4.5 months, and after working really hard, I have about 5 pounds left to lose. I’ve accepted that my body just holds onto some weight while BFing. It’s really nice to hear that other women have similar experiences, as it gets rough feeling like you’re doing something wrong!

Marcy on

I think that is is because of EBF that I have lost all of my baby weight and more. I have been BF baby #2 for 12 months now and it took until he was about 9 or more months old for me to get back to my “normal” weight. I know several people that have said that BF did not help them lose any weight, but they only BF for a month or two – I think it takes a long time of burning calories through breastfeeding to lose a significant amount of weight.

Amanda on

I am currently nursing my 11 month old and I weigh 140 pounds, maybe a pound or so less. When I gave birth I weighed in at 195 pounds, so I’ve lost roughly 55 pounds by breastfeeding and walking around (some, not at all during the winter) with my baby in a sling or ergo carrier. I have weighed the same since he was eight months old, so who knows if I will lose more. For me breastfeeding is that ‘magic bullet’. I know we are all different, but to say it’s a ‘myth’ is simply not true. For a lot of women it really does help. I also want to add that the rec. 25-30 pounds ‘they’ say you should gain doesn’t apply to all women any more than breastfeeding causes weight loss in all women. I gained 50+ pounds and apparantly needed every little bit of it! I have lots of friends who are now thin who gained 50+ pounds as well. It all depends on YOU and YOUR body.

Daze on

I was always small and was very prone to morning sickness, so I would lose weight in early pregnancy before I started gaining weight. I breastfed each time, and honestly, not only does it take the extra fat to breastfeed, I could swear I could feel my uterus shrinking, so I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight in no time, and I do believe breastfeeding had a lot to do with it. My husband’s loved my post-partum figure, the chest much larger, and the rest back to slim. My children all stayed slim, but healthy as well. I never overfed them. My mom was tiny in her twenties, but round in the middle by her midthirties, and she bottle fed her three children, so there must be some truth in it.

Annie on

I’m surprised that there has been little attention paid to her age. She is over 40. As you get older, your metabolism slows down. If she was younger, and did not gain so much weight during her pregnancy, the breastfeeding weight loss boost would have been meaningful. But 500 calories a day is not going to make you skinny, when you are a little older and put on tons of weight rapidly. It is not a miracle pill. She will have to work harder than younger women or women who remained active throughout their pregnancies. Salma cannot compare herself to Gwenth (sp?) or Nicole Richie, women who had children at a more youthful age. She also can’t compare herself to Brooke Burke, someone who remained physically active and did not pile on the pounds. I remember seeing pics of Salma at 3 months preg, and she appeared to be around 6 months. She put on a lot of weight and needs to work hard to get it off.

Carrie on

I was bothered by the comment that losing weight while breastfeeding was a “lie” — it’s not, it’s just clearly not working for Salma. Everyone is different!

I was an already overweight women when I was pregnant with my first, and then gained a substantial amount of weight on top of that. I lost all but 5 pounds of that much more quickly than I was expecting, but that last 5 pounds hung on until we weaned. I do think it is breastfeeding that does the trick for me, because when my second pregnancy ended unexpectedly in the 2nd trimester and I had already gained another 20 pounds, that weight wouldn’t budge for anything.

Liza on

I nursed both of my sons, the first only for 8 months (and got pregnant WHILE nursing, and i was not using nursing as my birth control) then when I had my second 17 months after the first, I nursed him too. And after a total weight gain of close to 85 pounds.. i held onto ALL of it and even gained. Granted, I did not really exercise much after the second one, he was born in November, and I live in WI and it was VERYYYYY snowy and subzero out. I did not overeat, and had my hands full with 2 little boys!!! I am now 16 months postpartum and still hanging onto major gut. I have ALOT of loose skin, and that will never leave. I weigh about 50 pounds more then before I got pregnant and Im just now slowly losing it. It SUCKS!!! I had my first at 19, and my second at 20… I got so much from everyone about me being so young and it’ll fall off so fast… well it didnt!!!

Carolina on

Thanks for the info on gestational diabetes and lack of weightloss during lactation. I’m one of those rare women who barely lost any weight while breastfeeding. But I also had gestational diabetes and am intrigued to hear there might be a connection. Especially since I’d never had difficulties staying slim before! I did get back to my normal BMI of 22, but only about 6 months after weaning.

Simone on

My 3rd daughter is 8 mos now and iam still nursing,in the beginning i lost the babyweigt plus 15 lbs within the first month.Since then i know i lost more weight but didnt weigh myself in a few mos now but i can tell by my clothes i dropped 2 sizes.

My 2 other daughters i didnt nurse as long and only lost the weight i had gained during pregnancy and maybe 5 lbs more.

We will see what happens once i stop to nurse her but that wont be anytime soon.

Mtoo on

This is not the first time that this actress has started shouting about something without any idea what the heck she is talking about. All I can say is that she better be glad that she’s pretty…with such a tiny brain and a great big mouth, she was never going to make it in any other field.

Jesse on

I weighed about 130 before I got pregnant, and about 175 when I delivered. I’ve been about 135-140 since 6 weeks postpartum. So, I guess breastfeeding worked for me!
I also have to mention that I DID have gestational diabetes and I changed my diet dramatically. I cut out almost all sugar and as much processed foods as I could. I totally agree with the L.C. that the S.A.D. is a lot more harmful than most people realize.

Jemma on

I have vted but also wanted to add that myself and the majority of my frinds found that breastfeding didn’t make a huge differance to weight loss until the 6 months point. At the point we breastfed past six months the weight just fell off!

Michelle on

I’m currently bf my second child that was born 12/31/07. I guess I’m not one of the lucky ones because I haven’t been losing lots of weight while bf. I gained about 35lbs during this pregnancy. I lost 9 lbs after I delivered her. And then lost another 10 lbs a week after. I guess it was all fluid… I have pretty much maintained the same weight over the last 3 months. My doctor told me that it is much harder to lose the weight the second time around. I try not to be so hard on myself. I’m just happy that my daughter is getting enough milk. I just have to keep reminding myself that it took 9 months to put this weight on…so it will probably take me awhile to get if off…

Flo on

I cringed a little bit when I read what Salma said about breastfeeding; but I was more taken aback by the lactation consultant’s insinuation that those of us who do not lose weight breastfeeding are overeating or eating junk food because it’s affordable.

I gained weight breastfeeding both my daughters. With my second, I lost 28lbs the month I stopped breastfeeding. I was not eating less, my body just let go of the weight it was holding on to.

I wish I were one of the “lucky” ones to lose tons of weight breastfeeding; but I know it wasn’t something I had control over.

Sheila on

I am currently breastfeeding baby #4 in 6 years. I have always gained 35-40lbs with pregnancy and always have a heck of a time losing it until after the baby is weaned (usually around a year). It’s very very personal and one’s metabolism is obviously a huge factor…which hasn’t kept me from hoping with each pregnancy that the weight will just “fall off” !!

Megan on

I am currently 8 1/2 months into breastfeeding with my first child. I lost weight initially after he was born, but I am still hanging onto 10-15 lbs that I just cannot lose no matter what I do. I strongly believe that I won’t lose that weight until after he weans, which hopefully won’t be for a while.

Nicole R. on

I’m still nursing my 2 1/2 year old, and I haven’t *quite* gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet. I think the bodies of some naturally skinny women (like myself, a former size 2 at 5’7″, now a size 4) hang onto the extra weight while breastfeeding. Maybe it’s nutritional insurance.

For the first 18 months I was 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, and it was fairly recently that I dropped to about 5 pounds over. The less we nurse, the more my weight drops. But then I’m chasing a toddler around all day, too!🙂

Alicia on

I’m the mother of a 6 month old, my first, and I gained 35 pounds during my pregnancy. I breastfed from the beginning, supplementing for the first week. I began losing weight immediately. I’m now a little over 5 pounds my pre-pregnancy weight. I eat healthy (but still treat myself) and my only exercise is walking the dog (twice a day).
I think several factors influenced my weight loss. I’m naturally petite and have never had a problem with my weight. I did not gain any excess weight, I only looked pregnant in profile. I also have maintained a healthy diet (before and throughout my pregnancy), remained active and worked up to the day I delivered. I’m also 24 years old. I’m young and healthy and that makes weight loss easier.
I also had a natural birth which I read has expedited weight loss. It has to do with your body’s biological response which is delayed with a c-section (I don’t know Salma Hayek’s circumstances). There’s another biological response that is triggered when breastfeeding that aids in weight loss. For example, I felt my uterus contract when breastfeeding, a common occurrence.
I think some mothers aren’t seeing the bigger picture. It doesn’t matter how much or how quickly you lose the weight. You body housed another human being. It is a dramatic experience for your body and it will readjust at it’s own pace.

Sarah on

Whilst pregnant with my son my weight jumped from 133 to 161pound. The weightloss I experienced through breastfeeding never ceases to amaze me.
When my son was 8.5months old he refused the breast, probably because I was back at work and he was receiving some formula alongside EBM and got used to receiving his milk from a bottle during the day. I was upset and felt a bit rejected but by this point people had started to comment on the amount of weight I’d lost and not always in a complimentary way:-( Weighing myself I discovered my weight had dropped to just under 112pound.
I didn’t diet but did eat very healthily and drank lots of fluid, breastfeeding seemed to make me feel thirsty all the time!, also my health visitor did inform me that we frequently mistake thirst for hunger and to make sure I took in lots of fluids during the breastfeeding period – so maybe that had a alot to do with it. I must have been eating & drinking something right as after some periods of voracious feeding Joseph would sometimes gain 11 or 12oz in just a week lol! Hes now a slim, fit & healthy kid, a wicked little snowboarder and in the Gifted & Talented club at school for Design & Technology and Art – How proud am I:-)
As well as breastfeeding I also walked virtually daily with the pushchair to the shops, park etc. I think the breastfeeding also changed my metabolism, to this day I have never gone back up to my pre-pregnancy weight and my weight seems to have stabilised at around 120pound.

jaQ on

this was nice to see, as the “lie” comment seemed harsh and kind of bugged me, as well.
i’ve breastfed both my kids~ 3 months for my son, and my 24-month-old daughter is just beginning to wean. i lost 50 lb. in about 8 months for number 1, and 65 lb. in about 6 months, for number 2. i’ve always had very high metabolism, though, so as a picky, often poor eater, i’m lucky to be able to maintain my weight~ usually, i’m struggling to keep it on.

Kayla on

What I don’t understand is why Salma’s sharing of her experience was so upsetting. People know she’s not a doctor or involved in the medical field, so really any opinion or information she’s sharing is based upon what her experience is. This whole website is about taking a peek into the lives and parenting experiences of celebrities not scrutinizing statements and judging behaviors. What is most telling for me is what the lactation specialist said: “there is a lot going on that we don’t fully understand.” The way to understand is to listen to other’s stories and hear about different experiences with an open mind. Salma was sharing an opinion, not making a personal attack. Shouldn’t we promote opinion sharing? If we are taking a stranger’s expression of their opinion as a personal attack, I think its time to take a moment to examine our own lives.

Jennifer on

I don’t know if it is a myth – probably works for some people. I have to say I breastfed both of my kids for 4-6 months and it did not help me lose weight at all even with daily walks (2 miles+) and a healthy diet.

Laurie on

I gained 50 lbs. with my first pregnancy and had lost all but 3 before returning to work (briefly) at 16 weeks. I ate to hunger, and ate a better diet than I even did pregnant, and the weight just fell off. I think a lot of my baby weight is fluids, not fat. I also had a major oversupply issue – not sure if this contributed or not.

When my daughter was about a year old, I actually tried to lose weight and lost another 25 lbs while nursing. Obviously, she was on table foods at this time, but I was able to lose this weight without impacting my remaining supply and I nursed her until 22 months.

I’ve gained the same 50 lbs. again this time around, and just pray it will be at least half as easy this time.

Sarah on

I had my son March of 2008. I have been breastfeeding him for 3 months. I gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy. I lost 15 pounds right off the bat. I Currently have about 20 pounds to lose. I haven;t lost a pound more for the past 2 months and I have been working out 4 times a week. I walk on the days I dont go to the gym. I eat a healthy diet. I just don’t understand. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will all come off when my baby weens. Especially because I am getting married next summer and would like to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. If anyone has any suggestions please help.

Lexy on

I had my baby girl a little over 6 months ago and during my pregnancy I gained almost 30lbs. I’ve always been a fairly small person and have never really had a hard time losing weight; I’m a former gymnast and cheerleader so I’ve always been pretty fit. I had so much weight gain during my pregnancy that I just felt horrible about the way that I looked and it didn’t help that my husband called me MOO MOO either. I thought like most that once I started the whole breastfeeding process all of the weight would just magically fall off and I’d emerge this hot new momma. But, oh how that was not the case, far from it actually. After my daughter was born I lost almost 20lbs before I even left the hospital what an ego boost right? Then, I thought that I was doing really good some of the extra weight had started to come off and I had a little belly left and thought hey I’m suppose to be burning almost 500 calories a day this should be no problem I can go to the gym and lose the rest of this in no time at all. Well, the baby took up all of my time and the 5 minutes a day that I had to myself was sucked up by my husband who constantly said that he was feeling neglected now that the baby was around and if is wasn’t him then it was always something else. So there was no time for me to go to the gym and lose what I thought should have been simple weight to lose. My body seemed to make more fat to off set the extra calories that my body was using to feed the baby and once my body had adjusted to everything that had happened (having a baby in all)I actually gained back 10 of the 20 lbs that I had lost in the beginning. I know that I have to stay healthy to keep the milk and necessary nutrients flowing for my daughter so she can stay healthy as well, and I don’t want to stop breastfeeding her just so I can go on a rigorous diet and lose all of this weight but some days it’s hard to look at your self in the mirror or to step on the scale. It really doesn’t help when your husband pats your belly and asks you MOO MOO when are you going to lose the rest of your weight and get out of your fat pants? I know that sooner or later the weight will come off I just wish it was sooner rather than later. And a little help and encouragement from my husband every once in a while would be nice too.
So, for those of you out there going through some what of the same thing as me, just remember the weight frustration is all worth it when you see your little one smile at you with a very healthy smile and know that they don’t care how many pounds you lose or gain just as long as you’re healthy.
That’s what I tell myself.

Jo Jo on

I just want to say that it is true that some people cannot lose when bfing. I was 33 with a 5’7″ frame, weighing 125 when I got pregnant with my first. I gained 43 pounds. I exercised and ate very healthy and was within normal limits until I gained much my last trimester. I only lost 12 pounds after my beautiful daughter was born. I bfed for 11 months…my doctor ordered me to quit when I got pregnant with my 2nd. I started to finally lose when my daughter started eating solids but then I got pregnant again. I cannot explain how upsetting it was to exercise, eat healthy, watch calories and still not lose a pound during bfeeding. Then I had to listen to all these people…who didn’t even bfeed their children, tell me I should be losing the weight…I have an advantage over them because bfeeding makes you lose weight……Guess what….all those comments did was hurt my feelings and discourage me. Please ladies…don’t worry about not losing the weight. Worry about breastfeeding your beautiful baby. My youngest is now 5 months and guess what…I watch and exercise 3-4 times a week and havent’ lost a pound since delivery and I know that I wont until I start the weaning process. I know it will come off and finally i have spoke to about 5 different women who claim they had the same problem. It will come off so just ignore the people who talk about how much they lost during bfeeding and remember that you will lose it in time.

Candice Waters on

I have one child and gained 67 pounds during my pregnancy..I lost 40lbs in the first eight weeks after her birth and I feel it’s because I nursed. As far as I know, since breastfeeding is a natural thing,the fat stored during preganacy and the extra caloric intake while nursing is what your body uses to make the breastmilk. That makes sense to me and makes me a believer! I didn’t gain any weight after I weened but I crtainly didnt lose anymore.

Michelle on

I’m a breast feeding mom that gained 30 lbs while pregnant w/ my son. I lost all of the weight within a month and I’m now 10 lbs lower than my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m an active woman that has always excercised & eaten healthy. Since having my son my gym visits & meals are less than they were before due to lack of sleep & always being tired w/ a 5 month old BUT Im still trying hard to gain the weight back. I was happy w/ my weight before my son & feel I’m too skinny.

MrsHashBrown on

Pre-pregnancy I was about 15 lbs over my goal weight. I never worked out while pregnant (extreme fatigue), but ate healthfully, and I gained 27 lbs. with my little tater tot. I lost all of it by my 6-week postpartum checkup. I had a c-section and had little appetite for about 8-weeks postpartum, though I was thirsty all the time.

I exclusively breastfed until the tater tot was 4 1/2 months old. He spit up A LOT and his dr suggested that I begin to feed solids once per day while continuing to bf (didn’t help with the spit up – sigh). At that point, my appetite returned. I’ve never been a fan of sweets, but oh my I had a sweet tooth that was totally out of control. Not surprisingly, I began to gain weight. I gained 12 lbs in 3 months.

My son is 8 1/2 months old now and he still nurses 5 or 6 times per day. I finally began to workout three weeks ago and have totally eliminated all sweets. I’ve lost about 10 lbs. I’m hopeful that I can get below my pre-pregnancy weight by continuing my efforts.

faith on

I am currently breastfeeding 3mo 2wk old twin girls and have lost over 40 pounds, without gaining anything during pregnancy. I weighted 261 when I found out I was pregnant, was 260 the day before delivery and currently around 220. Breastfeeding had definately helped with weight loss and plan to keep it off.

Mary on

While I was breastfeeding I was able to lose weight easily by watching what I ate the pounds would just drop off. (I breastfeed for 2 yrs) Now that I have weaned by son, I can’t lose weight for the life of me! I cut my calories way back and work out 3-4x a wk and nada. I wish I was still breastfeeding just so I can get the rest of the weight off!

Anonymous on

My second baby is 8 months old and she just weaned 3 days ago. I was my pre-pregnancy weight with her when she was just 6 months old. I had back to back babies (15 months apart in age) and breastfed them both. My sons 2nd birthday is in a month and my second born is 8 months old and I am 5 lbs lighter than when I got pregnant with my second and 5 lbs away from my prepregancy weight of my 1st born. That’s alot of jargin…anyhow breastfed them both to 8 months and ate well with consistent exercise and the weight just goes!

Jenny Whitley on

9 kids later and still bfing,gained 3t pounds and cant lose it

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